Top 5 Mistakes Patients Make When Pursuing A Medical Malpractice Case
1. Waiting too long to investigate your case. In Georgia, there are laws called statutes of limitations. These law create time limits within which a medical malpractice cases must be filed in Court. Although there are some exceptions, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the alleged injury or death in Georgia. However, medical malpractice cases cannot be just filed and figured out later. They must be investigated and vetted in advance, which can take many months. Just collecting the medical records can take several months due to the non-compliance by hospitals in producing medical records. Also, depending on the volume of medical records, the attorneys need time to review the medical records and research the issues involved in the case. If it appears to be a viable case after that initial review, expert witnesses will need to be identified and hired, and then they will need time to review and evaluate the case while they are still caring for patients of their own. If you wait too long to act, there may not be enough time to pursue your case before the statute of limitations expires. So do not delay.
2. Hiring a lawyer who is not experienced in handling medical malpractice cases. It is critical to hire a lawyer who understands the medicine, can debate doctors, and knows when Defendants are making up baseless defenses. If the defense can get away with lies and half-truths and sell a defense that is not founded in the facts or science, they will do so to defend themselves. So it is critical to hire a lawyer who understands the medicine and science. There are also specific laws applicable to filing and litigating medical malpractice cases. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be familiar with these laws and follow them to protect your case. Medical malpractice cases are full of pitfalls and strategic missteps for inexperienced medical malpractice litigators. If you do not hire a lawyer who is a tried and tested medical malpractice attorney, you are making a mistake.
3. Hiring a lawyer who is afraid or unwilling to try a case. Your lawyer must be prepared and ready to try your case if your case needs to be tried. If your attorney is unwilling or afraid to try your medical malpractice case, it could negatively impact the outcome of the case.
4. Hiring an out-of-state lawyer for a Georgia medical malpractice case. This is a real mistake. Many out-of-state lawyers advertise for cases in Georgia. Every state’s law are different, and Georgia lawyers know Georgia the best. There are nuances in Georgia law that could have a serious impact on your case if they are not well understood or handled properly. Georgia medical malpractice lawyers also know what the juries are like in various jurisdictions; they know the judges and appellate judges overseeing the case; they also know the opposing counsel defending the cases; and they often know witnesses at the various hospitals involved in the cases. If you are hiring an out-of-state lawyer for your Georgia medical malpractice case, you are compromising your case.
5. Trying to Handle a Medical Malpractice Case On Your Own. As mentioned earlier, medical malpractice litigation is wrought with pitfalls. There are special rules that apply. There are complex medical issues vigorously debated. Defendants make up arguments not based in fact or science. There are important strategic decisions that have to be made. Because of these complexities, it is critical to hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer with proven results for their clients.
PRO TIP FOR LAWYERS: Not hiring the right experts for your case. It is critical that your medical malpractice lawyer hire the best experts they can find for your case. The best experts are often highly-credentialed, practicing doctors and sometimes recently retired. They are not only knowledgeable about the issues and the national standards applicable to the medical issues involved in the case, they are kind and down-to-earth and able to simplify complex issues so that juries can understand them easily.